Regrets? The Angels have a few. The bad free agent signings. The trades that didn't happen. The general existence of Joe Blanton. Yeah, there are some things they wish they had done differently. But one things stands above the rest: not beating the god damn Astros.
As of this writing, the Angels stand at 78-80. That's not very good. It isn't terrible, but it isn't very good. It is right at that level where you can imagine how they could have weasled their way into playoff contention had a few things gone their way. What you don't need much of an imagination for is the Angels faring better against the Houston Astros than the 9-10 mark they posted against the worst team in the league this year.
Let that sink in, 9-10. A losing record to the losingest team in MLB.
To put that in perspective, Houston only had a winning record against one other team, the Chicago White Sox at 4-3. The ChiSox and the Angels. Yuck. There could have been so much more there. Take the Athletics, for example, who went 15-4 against the 'Stros. Or take the Rangers, who just finished going 17-2 against their in-state "rivals."
Now, engage the part of your brain that you shutdown after your last high school math class. Once the dust is blown off, do some quick addition and subtraction to figure out where the Angels would be had they been able to dominate Houston like everyone else, say with a 16-3 record. They could be 85-73 and three games out of the final Wild Card spot.
Oh, what could've been. All the people shouting about what wild disappointments the Angels are would at least be reduced to study hall whisper volume. Perhaps the Angels might've held on to Scott Downs and stole an extra win by having them in their lousy bullpen. Maybe they would've even been buyers at the deadline to add another win to their record. That would've put them right smack in the thick of the playoff hunt.
But no, that didn't happen. It didn't happen because they couldn't beat the stupid, lousy Astros. Importing Houston into the AL West was supposed to be manna from heaven for the Angels, A's and Rangers. Well, two out of three ain't bad. And one of the three is bad. Bad at baseball. Bad at beating the Astros.
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